International Regimes

  • David Armstrong
  • Lorna Lloyd
  • John Redmond
Part of the The Making of the 20th Century book series


The process of international organisation is concerned with the development by states of ways of regulating their conflicts, jointly managing for their collective benefit various specific areas of activity and, most ambitiously, planning for peaceful change towards agreed goals. Sometimes this has involved the creation of large multipurpose institutions such as the League, UN or EU. However, the essential core of international organisation is not the various administrative buildings in New York, Brussels, Geneva and elsewhere which represent the relevant institution in the public mind, but the rules, regulations and agreed procedures for which the institutions have assumed responsibility. In this sense the main thrust of international organisation is the development of ‘international regimes’: sets of rules which aim to regulate some specific activity of international interest. Thus defined, regimes encompass not only formal institutions but many informal, decentralised arrangements among states, and sometimes among non-state actors, such as the Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross which has an important role in relation to the Geneva Conventions on war.


Uruguay Round International Regime International Monetary System International Economic Order Nuclear Weapon State 
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Notes and References

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    The literature on regimes is now vast, but the following are particularly useful: Oran Young, ‘International Regimes: Problems of Concept Formation’, World Politics (April 1978) 331–56; Oran Young, ‘The Politics of International Regime Formation’, International Organization (Summer 1989) 349–76; Stephen D. Krasner (ed.), International Regimes (Ithaca and London, 1983); Joseph M. Grieco, Cooperation Among Nations. Europe, America and Non-tariff Barriers To Trade (Ithaca and London, 1990); Oran Young, International Cooperation. Building Regimes for Natural Resources and the Environment (Ithaca and London, 1989); Jock A. Finlayson and Mark W. Zacher, Managing International Markets. Developing Countries and the Commodity Trade Regime (New York, 1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© David Armstrong, Lorna Lloyd and John Redmond 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Armstrong
  • Lorna Lloyd
  • John Redmond

There are no affiliations available

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